Got two articles out this week; first one’s on Vitae and it’s inspired by some of the comments I’ve gotten on this very blog, from dissertators with the Worst Advisers Ever. Here’s a taste:
Here’s what I mean when I say that too many dissertation advisers are guilty of dereliction of duty: I’m talking about advisers who fail to provide constructive and useful mentorship at every step of the dissertation process, from the first book cracked to the final polish. This should be nonnegotiable. Hey, graduate faculty: You want so badly to preserve your Ph.D. programs, with little remorse about foisting graduates upon a carcass-strewn jobless dystopia? Actually advising dissertations well is the price for that.
And, just this second, here’s the article I wrote for Slate inspired by the “alt-ac” conference I attended this week (and thanks to Sean Goudie and Penn State for having me out there; it was great, AND BONUS, the hotel had a giant bushel of fresh Honeycrisp apples for guests, and I am unashamed to say I took home as many as my backpack would fit).
The “alt-ac” conference had A LOT of interesting conversations, but the one I chose to focus on for Slate is sort of the most basic conversation of all: Why is “alt-ac” even a thing? Why aren’t there just “jobs”? This is NOT by ANY MEANS the full extent of my feelings about “alt-ac” or my rundown of what happened at the symposium, which was far more multivalent than one short article aimed at a non-academic audience will allow. But, I think it’s an interesting glimpse, for Normals, as to why the idea of getting a job with a PhD is more complicated than they think. Anyway, here’s another taste:
The academic aversion to real-world work experience has even leaked into the professoriate itself, with stellar job candidates with years of relevant experience as adjuncts being dismissed outrightpreciselybecause of this experience, in favor of brand-spanking-new Ph.D.s with boundless “potential.” Indeed, academia is the only profession I can think of (besides, perhaps, the world’s oldest) in which experience counts against you.
And, yes, there will be a new Rate My JIL tomorrow, provided that there are any ads to rate.